Definitley not. Have seen that though when working in and with large enterprises playing with their negotiation power.
Sounds like a contract in the Middle East to me (I had several similar situations there).
And, no, I would not necessarily see this as an acceptable business practice.
Notwithstanding that your situation is not entirely clear to me, if you had agreed the terms and price of your products or services beforehand, and the proposal was mutually seen as a mere formality (maybe even jointly worked on in the run up to contracting), then you would expect that both parties act in good faith.
It’s a different situation if you were still in a bidding process, expecting some further rounds of negotiations.
What would you do going forward? Now, that depends. If this is a client that you are unlikely to do further business with, you may well consider to ultimately walk away from the deal.
If you intend entering into a long term relationship with your client, then an adult conversation with their procurement would be the first step. Stick to the facts. Keep emotions out of the discussion and try to understand where this request for a discount is coming from. You can only win a fight if you know where the “enemy” is.
If this does not work try to approach a contact in their management team and make your case. Also make sure that you don’t slander their procurement people because you will be closely working with them in the future.
Absolutely not. If you know your worth and your prices reflect that then any discounts are within your gift to give and certainly not at the cosh of a customer. If they have signed the contract and entered into an agreement then they are obliged to pay the costs. If they haven’t and they are refusing to move forward unless you apply the discount my advice would be to walk away. There will be plenty more people out there that will pay what you are worth.
I know it is never easy risking losing business but stand by your guns and let them know there will be no discount applied and the costs are the costs. If they want you to do the work they will pay, if not they will find someone else. If you cave, they will expect that from every bit of work you do and that’s not fair.
If they drag their heels on giving you a response, let them know that the prices may increase for every month they wait to account for inflation and increase costs for parts. It will soon prompt a decision from them.
It’s not the correct way of negotiation, but these days customer tends to follow similar approach. We need to be smart enough to judge, is that an ask because of competition offering or customer budget constraint.
If this ask is for any above reason we should re look our business viability and try to offer 30% otherwise what ever close we can offer.
But if it is just negotiation skill then we need gauge our offer stand versus our competition and take judicious call.
There can’t be thumb rule for such situations, we need to figure our stand while looking at customer portfolio and work for Excellent Customer Experience.
Think of that as an invitation to talk ! Maybe the client has a bigger plan or needs some extra care ;-)
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